NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Hayes Pullard, ILB USC

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: ILB Hayes Pullard, USC

Player Information:

Hayes Pullard
6-0, 240 pounds
Hometown: Inglewood, CA

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 yard: 4.78

Bench: 19

Vert: 31″

Broad: 110″

3 cone: 7.07

Shuttle: 4.39

News and Notes:

With all the common 1st-2nd round inside linebacker prospects done, its now time to look at some players further down on the draft board who could offer some great value in the later rounds.  Hayes Pullard is one of the leaders of the USC defense and one of its most productive with 377 tackles and 20 pass breakups in 4 seasons and all conference honors in all 4 seasons.  His combine and pro day numbers are rather nondescript and it doesn’t help all too much that he’s not the optimal size at just 6’0″ but Hayes can still be a quality player at the NFL if used properly.

 What they’re saying about him:

  • CBSSports.com: “Pullard wasn’t sure what position he would play when he arrived at USC, but ended up leading the Trojans in tackles three of the last four seasons, starting 51 total games. He has his size limitations, but is a feisty, instinctive defender with a nose for the ball and quick burst to close, putting him in position to make plays. Although he can get lost in traffic at times, Pullard is savvy enough to slip past blockers and make controlled stops. He won’t be a fit for every scheme, but at worst projects as a special teams player at the next level.”
  • NFL.com: “Athletic linebacker who falls into a habit of letting plays come to him rather than making things happen. While lacking an aggressive strike as a tackler, Pullard has the athleticism to be a solid NFL player. He has to find a scheme that can keep him clean or he might be just another linebacker”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • A pretty decent tackler, is able to make the play even if he’s in a poor angle.  Isn’t much of an agressive tackler, more willing to let the ball get to him but no more.
  • Decent in coverage, has fluid enough hips to stick with receivers for the standard 2 seconds
  • Probably isn’t fast enough to be a true sideline to sideline player but has good functional range.
  • Best trait might be his ability to disengage with blockers; shows the ability to avoid cut blocks and can peel off blockers when they get to his level.  Tends to slip by blockers rather than powering through them.

If drafted by the Packers

Is Pullard a worth a premium pick?  Probably not, but with the state of the Green Bay Packers’ inside linebacker corps, I would be surprised to see ILB addressed early and late and Pullard offers some tantalizing potential in the later rounds.  Pullard has special teams experience at USC and was a leader for the team, two aspects that are sorely needed on the team.  Pullard is also less of a thumper and more of an all rounded player.  With some coaching up and experience, Pullard could be a quality rotation player and at the very worse could be a functional special teams player.

——————

Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

——————

  • NemoOutis

    Nice guy. A model citizen and team leader. But, too slow. Not an every down player. I wouldn’t go higher than a 5th round pick for him. Some mocks have him taken in the 3rd or 4th. Even as a 5th round pick, there are others I’d select (e.g., Zach Vigil; Bryce Hager) before him if I wanted a second ILB.

    • dobber

      As mid-round guys go, I also like Vigil and Hager better than Pullard, but they all have limitations. Ben Heeney is an undersized, athletic, try-hard type that has been moving up boards. He was a very good player on a bad team (Kansas) and could fill a role as a chaser type. Jake Ryan from Michigan is another try-hard type who has played inside and outside and could be a fit at ILB. All of these guys would help special teams.

  • dobber

    …and now Kuhn has reportedly resigned, too. Back to your regularly-scheduled pre-draft analyses.

  • Archie

    Easily blocked and washed out of plays. No Desmond Bishop.